press release

Building Back A More Diverse Downtown

JoAnn Loviglio
T 215.440.5546


Center City District Report Tracks Most Recent Pedestrian, Transit Trends

PHILADELPHIA (July 31, 2023) – Center City continued its steady process of recovery in June and during the first three weeks of July with pedestrian volumes in July reaching 92% of 2019 levels. During the month of June, the combined number of residents, workers and visitors in Center City averaged 384,300 per day, up 2% from the previous month. While the volume of workers dipped slightly in July at the start of the summer holiday season, the daytime population of workers of all kinds was still 20% higher than last year and at 77% of the same period in 2019, according to a new report from the Center City District (CCD).

While residents and visitors continue to lead the rebound, the number of non-resident workers within the boundaries of the West Market Street office district, reached a post-pandemic high as of June, attaining 57% of the 2019 level.

Meanwhile, visitors have recovered to 86% of June 2019 levels, reflecting the rebound in conventions, tourism, shopping and arts and culture. The number of residents present in Center City has increased to 64,300, also substantially higher than in June 2019.

Center City District uses two independent sources of data to track these trends. First, CCD has installed sensors at 11 locations within the downtown commercial core. CCD’s other data source,, uses anonymized cellphone location data to estimate daily downtown foot traffic in a broader area from Vine Street to South Street, river to river. 

Transit ridership, another key measure of downtown recovery, also continues to improve. Average weekly ridership on SEPTA reached 3.2 million in May, a 2% increase from the previous month and 5% higher than in May 2022. Average weekly ridership on the PATCO high speed line in June 2023 was 104,475, a 9% increase from June 2022.

These trends continue a steady process of recovery. The average daily number of non-resident workers in the West Market Street office district increased 47% from December 2022 to June 2023; non-resident workers throughout Center City increased 16%. From December 2022 through May 2023, weekly SEPTA ridership increased 14%, with Regional Rail riders increasing 15%. While some research has suggested that progress nationally toward restoring downtown economic activity has slowed recently, CCD’s data suggest that the recovery in Center City continues on a steady basis.

To read the 7-page report, visit Building Back A More Diverse Downtown.


Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions.